Our scientists

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) researchers and scientists have a wide variety of roles. You can find them at work in fields and forests, on farms, at ports of entry, in processing plants, in CFIA laboratories and in offices across Canada. Their work is important for assessing risk, contributing to the development of policies and programs, giving scientific advice, inspecting fields, facilities and shipments, and more.

On this page

Women in science at the CFIA

At the CFIA, women represent over half of employees in science-related positions.

Learn more about the innovative and important work being done by the CFIA's women in science and how it benefits the daily lives of Canadians.

Women in science profiles

Left to right: Dr. Ruojing Wang, Taran Meyer, Angela Salzl and Jennifer Neudorf

Leadership and innovation in seed identification

Could you identify a plant seed out of hundreds of thousands of species, or tell the difference between the seed of a crop and an invasive species?

Kiersten DeViller

A student's perspective: entomology at the CFIA

My name is Kiersten DeViller, and I'm in my third year studying Biology at Carleton University. My summer was filled with new experiences and so many beetles, so here's a little snapshot of what it looked like.

Caroline Friday

Creating more inclusive workspaces at the CFIA's Burnaby Laboratory

Learn how welcoming a student at our Burnaby Laboratory sparked a journey towards inclusivity that created more accommodating workspaces for current and future scientists.

Dr. Caitlyn Best

Meet Dr. Caitlyn Best, CFIA veterinary program officer

In my job, dealing with animal diseases and outbreaks is rewarding. Even when there are no active outbreaks, I'm always thinking of how Canada can prepare. And that's why I work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Dr. Carmencita Lake

Meet Dr. Carmencita Lake, CFIA veterinarian

I can't think of a time when I didn't want to be a veterinarian. After 20 years in private practice, here's how I'm helping to protect your health while paving the way for the next generation of veterinarians and inspectors.

Ashley Balchin and Renée Cloutier

Outstanding in their field: meet Ashley Balchin and Renée Cloutier, CFIA plant breeders' rights examiners

Plant breeding helps boost new crop varieties, yields, tolerance to disease and nutritional value for the food we grow. Here's how two CFIA experts support innovations that benefit shoppers, farmers and other countries.


Women in Science: meet Diane Allan, Vice-President of Science at the CFIA

The CFIA has many exciting job opportunities where you could help to protect Canada's food, plants and animals. Watch Diane Allan's inspiring message for women and girls considering a career in STEM.

Sharan Sandhu

Meet Sharan Sandhu, CFIA food inspector

For over a decade, I've been working to protect you from contaminated produce. Dig into my story to learn how I check your favourite fruits and vegetables before they end up at farmers' markets and grocery stores.

Geneviève Lebrun

Meet Geneviève Lebrun, CFIA food processing specialist inspector

I often find that my work is not well understood by the general public. But it is very hands-on because I am on site in food processing facilities every day. There is no shortage of challenges!

Dr. Mary Jane Ireland

I am proud to be a CFIA veterinarian – here's why

As Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer, I'm honoured to be part of a diverse community of CFIA veterinarians dedicated to protecting animals, people and the environment. If you're a practising or aspiring veterinarian, consider joining our team!

Shae Wasyliw

Meet Shae Wasyliw, CFIA meat hygiene inspector

As a cattle rancher and meat hygiene inspector with the CFIA, farming and agriculture have always been part of my life. Here's how I paved my way in the industry to help feed and protect Canadians.

Tracy Lawrence

Meet Tracy Lawrence, CFIA virology technician

If you've ever taken a bite of locally grown peaches, enjoyed a glass of Canadian wine, or gone apple picking—you've had a taste of my work! Learn how I sowed my passion for plant science into a career at the CFIA.

Dr. Naheda Sahtout

Meet Dr. Naheda Sahtout, CFIA science analyst

As an immigrant woman with low vision, I've been breaking down barriers since arriving in Canada. Here's my important message for anyone pursuing a STEM career when the odds are stacked against you.

Noelle Smith

Meet Noelle Smith, CFIA programmer

I wear many hats at work: programmer, co-chair of the LGBTQ2+ network, and head of the positive space committee. Learn how with lots of drive, Java, and connections, I rarely crash!

Wei Ke

Meet Wei Ke, CFIA application analyst

Because I'm hearing impaired, I used to rely on colleagues to take notes at meetings. Now I rely on technology. Learn how I am able to work, and how the CFIA helps support persons with special needs.

Jasmine Mander

Meet Jasmine Mander, CFIA science specialist

Raised in Ottawa, I was privileged from a very young age with easy access to the natural world. Here's how I followed my own trail towards working for Canada's largest science-based regulator.

Rositsa Dimitrova

Meet Rositsa Dimitrova, CFIA plant health risk assessor

Rositsa Dimitrova shares how her passion for nature and study of insects led to her working at the CFIA.

Victoria Arling and Annie Locas

Women in Science: meet Victoria Arling and Annie Locas

Calling all students: do you love science? Here's how 2 CFIA experts got their careers started.

Olga Pena

Meet Olga Pena, scientist and advocate

Many inequalities still exist for women and girls in science, especially those from under-represented groups. Here's my story.

Podcasts and vlogs

Dr. Stephani McLean

International Women's Day – Dr. Stephani McLean

Winkler and District Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Genesis House highlighted the CFIA's Dr. Stephani McLean and her career as a veterinarian.

Dr. Kalhari Bandara-Goonewardene

Women in Science: Vlog with Dr. Kalhari Bandara-Goonewardene

1, 2, 3…"Go science!" Do you love science as much as our own Dr. Bandara-Goonewardene? Watch her vlog to learn why this topic is near and dear to her heart.

Janine Maruschak

Women in Science: Vlog with Janine Maruschak

Our own Janine Maruschak knows a thing or 2 about testing grain shipments to help keep invasive pests at bay. Watch her vlog for a look inside our Saskatoon Lab.

Dr. Stephani McLean

#DigitalFirst: vlog with Dr. Stephani McLean

A veterinarian with farming and private practice experience, our own Dr. McLean explains the benefits doing business online through My CFIA for live bovine exports to the United States.

Bree-Ann Lightfoot and Dr. Lisa Hodges

Women in Science: Podcast with Bree-Ann Lightfoot and Dr. Lisa Hodges

"My advice for going into science would be – don't be too afraid or too set on a path in your life. Try different subjects. It's such a big field that you might be surprised what turns out to interest you the most."

Dr. Mireille Marcotte

Women in Science: Podcast with Dr. Mireille Marcotte

"To date, scientists have catalogued about 1.5 million species of organisms on the planet, with insects making up about two-thirds of this bounty. This whole world of often very small creatures is simply fascinating to me."

Émilie Larocque

Women in Science: Podcast with Émilie Larocque

"I love the fact that the process leads to new knowledge, which is what makes science so thrilling."

Anna-Mary Schmidt

Women in Science: Podcast with Anna-Mary Schmidt

"When I was younger I wanted to be a detective, which is amusing in light of eventually studying science, as both require investigating the unknown and piecing together a puzzle."

Dr. Ruojing Wang

Women in Science: Podcast with Dr. Ruojing Wang

"When you have lots of challenges, you have lots of opportunities to rise above those challenges."

Visit the Women in Science site for an additional collection of profiles, videos, podcasts, blogs, and more featuring women in science across the Government of Canada.

Advancing future CFIA scientists

The CFIA is a top employer of students trained in a variety of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, epidemiology, and veterinary science, among others.

To help fulfill priorities now and into the future, the CFIA is committed to recruiting students from a variety of scientific fields.

Learn more about opportunities for students at the CFIA:

Veterinarians at the CFIA

CFIA veterinarians play an important role in Canadian food safety and animal health. They are part of the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases. We need you to be a part of this important and exciting work. Learn more about veterinarians at the CFIA.

Junior CFIA scientists

Keeping Canada's food safe and plants and animals healthy is a big job, so we're always looking for more helpers, no matter their age. Check out the Calling all budding #JuniorCFIA scientists webpage for activities to do with young scientists. You can also meet our team of superheroes to learn more.